Posted on: February 14, 2012 12:23 am
Edited on: February 14, 2012 12:36 am
By Matt Moore
The New Orleans Hornets announced Monday night that their best player, Eric Gordon will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday and will be out up to an additional six more weeks. Gordon, who has missed all but two games since being traded for the Clippers, has had repeated setbacks with the knee injury this year.
There was some concern going into the trade of Chris Paul for the package that the Hornets received in return concerning Gordon being injury prone. This only further complicates the Hornets' decision making this summer when they attempt to sign Gordon in restricted free agency at a reasonable value.
A team statement from Hornets GM Dell Demps, who's pretty much having the worst professional year possible, reads:
“After consulting with our medical staff, we concluded that surgery was the best route and in the best interest of Eric for the long term. We had hoped with rest and rehab, Eric's knee would have healed.” General Manager Dell Demps said. “Eric is eager to return to the court and we are confident Hornet Fans will get to see him soon.”
The Hornets are 5-23 this season after a win over the Jazz Monday night.
Posted on: January 27, 2012 4:56 pm
The Hornets failed to extend and lock up their new franchise centerpiece before the Jan. 25 extension deadline and the word was because Eric Gordon straight rejected their offer.
But according to the Times-Picayune, Gordon and the Hornets reached a mutual agreement to sit and wait.
"It wasn’t that I turned down anything, it works both ways,’’ Gordon said. "Yes, I’ll be restricted, but I am just a basketball player right now and the future is unclear.The report says that Gordon wanted a maximum per year salary of either four or five years. Which obviously the Hornets didn't want to dish out. For a lot of reasons, too. For one, Gordon isn't a max dollar player and two, the Hornets are owned by the NBA and aren't exactly the most cash flexibile organization in the league right now.
GM Dell Demps said in a press release that the Hornets were close to getting it done with Gordon but couldn't come to a meeting point. He also said the team is optimistic and encouraged that the Hornets will be able to retain Gordon in restricted free agency this summer.
They're going to have competition though as the Indiana Pacers are already reportedly chomping to get a piece of their hometown guy.
Gordon is out another three to six weeks because of a knee bruise and has only played two games with the Hornets so far this season.
Posted on: January 27, 2012 11:30 am
Edited on: February 3, 2012 5:24 pm
By Matt Moore
In this week's edition of the Friday 5, we look back on extensions week, ask if the Celtics are back, and of course, check in on Dwight Howard. You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS.
1. After two games between Orlando and Boston this week, is Boston "back?"
Ken Berger: I still think they're going to be OK. What a difference when Pierce has it going. He's clearly getting his confidence back. What happened Thursday night was as much about the Magic's fragility as it was about the Celtics' resilience. But to come back like that on the road, without Rondo or Allen, is a great sign for Boston. The Celtics' bench is still way too thin, and they don't have enough size. But one thing they need more than anything is some young legs and youthful exuberance, not to mention those attributes coming with meaningful contributions. They got that Thursday night from E'Twaun Moore. A much needed jolt for Boston's elders.
2. What extension decision, signed or unsigned, surprised you the most?
Ken Berger: I don't know that any surprised me, but the most interesting case was Eric Gordon. Given his knee situation, it's difficult to make a largely unnecessary long-term commitment now. But clearly the Hornets can't afford to lose the most significant asset they received in the Chris Paul trade. But much like Kevin Love's shorter extension with Minnesota, this arrangement could work out in Gordon's favor. If he comes back healthy and continues to put up big numbers, he'll command a bigger deal as a restricted free agent. And New Orleans knows they control the situation because they can match.
3. The Pacers have an interest in Eric Gordon. With his future in the air, is there any chance teams make a run at him in trade at the deadline?
Ken Berger: It would be logical for Gordon, the IU product, to wind up only a short drive from Bloomington. But I don't expect the Hornets to entertain in-season trade offers for him. There's no reason to panic since they have the right to match next summer.
4. We hear a lot about the Magic waiting to make a decision on Dwight Howard. But how about the Lakers? Are they going to give this team a chance to gel or will they pounce at the first opportunity for improvement?
Ken Berger: It always depends on the deal. If Howard can be had for a price that's less than Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, then the dialogue could catch fire pretty quickly. But unless Orlando completely goes in the tank -- and they haven't been playing well lately -- I see no signs that Otis Smith and Alex Martins are going to consider anything less than an all-out blockbuster offer for Howard. There's one caveat: If the realization of losing Howard for nothing hits the Magic organization like a freight train on March 14, it's impossible to predict now how they'll react.
5. Explain why the Minnesota Timberwolves not signing Kevin Love for as many years as possible is in any way a good decision on their part, please.
Ken Berger: I got into this in Postups yesterday. Basically, it's a good deal for both sides. Love has three years to determine if the Wolves are, in fact, going in the right direction. The Wolves, in turn, get to preserve their five-year designated player extension for Ricky Rubio. But Minnesota also will be able to get Love on a five-year extension after he opts out of the fourth year of this deal. And Love will get more money, too. With seven-plus years of service at that point, he'd be eligible for 30 percent of the cap.
Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:55 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 4:57 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver
His short-term future, thanks to an ongoing knee injury, isn't all that clear either.
The Hornets announced on Thursday that Gordon will be continue to be sidelined with a knee injury that's led him to miss all but two games this season. Gordon hasn't played since Jan. 4 and could miss up to another month and a half,
Hornets guard Eric Gordon will be sidelined for an additional three-to-six weeks the team announced. After undergoing further tests on his right knee, it revealed a right knee contusion. Team doctors recommended rest for his knee. Gordon is expected to resume full basketball activities and return to the court once the recommended rest time is up. The injury occurred in the second half of the team's opening night game in Phoenix.The Hornets are 3-15 on the season and currently have the worst record in the Western Conference. In Gordon's absence, they've tried to make due with a backcourt of Jarrett Jack and Marco Belinelli, but good luck with that. New Orleans desperately misses his scoring, ranking No. 28 in the league in points per game, with just 87.6, and ranking No. 25 in the league in offensive efficiency.
Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:18 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 12:27 am
Posted by Ben Golliver
The deadline for teams to sign extensions with 2008 NBA Draft picks passed at midnight on Wednesday. Only a handful of deals were reached, with a number of fairly big names left to head towards restricted free agency next summer. Let's take a look at the major deals and non-deals one-by-one.
This year’s largest deal was handed out to the class’s No. 1 overall pick and it was an absolute no-brainer, a long-term commitment that binds hometown star and league MVP Derrick Rose to the Bulls for the next half-decade. With the Eastern Conference-leading Bulls clearly in the middle of what should be a lengthy championship window and with Rose more than comfortable both on and off the court in Chi-town, this deal amounted to calculating the highest legal financial offer and delivering it as quickly as possible. That Rose elected not to demand a player option on the deal’s final year is a nice bonus for Chicago, who will be paying a premium to their 2-time All-Star under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement. Rose will almost certainly be a Bull for the next decade but it’s comforting to know that there won’t be any distracting sideshows and rumors for years to come.
Westbrook, the No. 4 overall pick, was really just Rose-light. The 2011 All-Star and All-NBA second team performer commanded every penny available to him under a standard max extension, and the fact that he reportedly passed on the potential for some extra dollars under the new CBA while also passing on requesting a player option means this deal couldn’t be sweeter for the Thunder. Their second All-Star piece is now cast in long-term, locked-in stone next to Kevin Durant, and the deal left OKC with as much flexibility as possible going forward even if the books are now necessarily tight with two max players in place. Even Westbrook’s biggest critics – those who question his personality, turnovers, mentality and shot selection – realize that he still represents an extraordinary value, even at $16 million a year. Need convincing? Imagine how different the NBA would be if Miami or Memphis had selected him at No. 2 or No. 3. Or, imagine if the Thunder had opted for one of the Draft’s other top point guard prospects, D.J. Augustin or Jerryd Bayless.
This is a classic case of a good idea in theory being far, far less valuable than a good idea in practice. Love, the No. 5 overall pick, has been leaps and bounds better than every other big man in this class and is already in the "power forward in basketball" discussion. A ridiculously productive and consistent rebounder, Love has improved his offensive game, extended his range, overhauled his body and stuck with a team that went through a toxic stretch under former coach Kurt Rambis. He’s a franchise guy, period. He’s in the same “no-brainer” category as Rose and Westbrook.
The problem facing Minnesota, that differentiates them from Chicago and Oklahoma City, is that they face multiple potential top-tier future stars in Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams who could request a 5-year extension after they complete their rookie deals. The idea here was to avoid offering a 5-year deal to Love using the new "designated player" tag so that it could be saved for later use. That flexibility would have some value to the Timberwolves, assuming Love was on board with the concept. It’s a good idea in theory: superstar sacrifices one year of a contract to help his franchise keep his future star teammates happy.
In practice, it didn’t work out quite like that. In exchange for agreeing to a deal shorter than five years, Love requested and received an early termination option on the last year of his 4-year agreement. That will create endless speculation and questions about his future and every franchise misstep over the next two to three years will be looked at under the prism of, “Will that make Love want to leave?” LeBron James and Chris Bosh both left their original teams after signing similar deals.
There was value to be had in flexibility and it could have been a coup if Love had jumped on board with the idea. But he simply didn't see it that way. Instead, he stressed Wednesday that he was ready to commit for five years and the team wasn't, making it clear where the responsibility lies in the future if the player/team relationship goes south, or, in a worst case scenario, if the relationship ends in a trade demand or a departure to a different market in free agency. Sure, he can always make up the money on the next deal. But star players, like everyone else in the world, prefer up-front certainty to future promises. They certainly prefer to be valued rather than leveraged.
Weighing all the available risks should have led to a simple conclusion: securing Love for as long as possible as quickly as possible, to ensure good will and a rock-solid future, was the best way to continue the team's recent positive momentum and the most expedient method for reducing outside noise. Maxing out Love would also have sent a message to Rubio and Williams that this was an organization that properly valued and rewarded its stars. Future flexibility is a great idea; two extra locked in years of Love would have been a much, much better reality.
This deal will go under the radar because it seems like the Nuggets, currently the West’s No. 2 seed, always go under the radar and because Gallinari, the No. 6 pick in his class, is somehow still his class’s most underrated player. Denver gets a well-rounded, good-natured player, who produces at an elite efficiency level and is putting up career-highs across the board. Gallinari pairs nicely with Denver’s point guard of the present and future, Ty Lawson, and will deliver value on his salary as long as he is able to keep his back problems in the rearview mirror. Denver is the only team ranked in the top-4 in either conference without a sure-fire All-Star but his salary number isn’t so large that it boxes the Nuggets into a corner down the road. The Nene/Gallinari/Afflalo/Lawson quartet should be the solid base of an above-average team for the life of Gallinari’s deal. Why not get this done with now?
Kosta Koufos signs 3-year, $9 million extension with a team option with the Denver Nuggets
Another piece to Denver’s puzzle, albeit a minor one, is Koufos, the No. 23 pick originally taken by the Utah Jazz. Koufos is Denver’s fifth big man and his career ceiling is probably as a fourth big man, at best. Finding reserve bigs can be a chore and the churn involved in locating and holding the right skillset to complement the frontline players isn’t as easy as it seems. Denver locks up Koufos at a small cap number and holds flexibility in the last year if they end up wanting to go a different direction. The 7-footer, meanwhile, knows he’s getting at least 6 million no matter what over the next two years, not bad for someone who has never played more than 50 games in a season or more than 11 minutes per game. This is really just a footnote deal, but it’s another sign of effective, well-intentioned management by Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri, who pro-actively resolved multiples questions for his club at thisextension deadline and can now focus his energy elsewhere at the trade deadline and next summer.
Conventional wisdom dictated that a league-owned team that technically didn’t need to agree to an 8-figure per year extension to Gordon, the No. 7 pick who is currently out for an extended period of time with a knee injury, wouldn’t get it done. That's exactly what happened. An offer was reportedly made to Gordon and rejected, leaving his future up in the air until next summer, when he will become a restricted free agent. Gordon’s value as a second-tier player in his class is clear. He’s likely headed for the type of deal given to Al Horford and Joakim Noah, and there’s a possibility someone reaches in free agency to throw him something even closer to a max, which his injury history and overall production levels don’t quite warrant. Regardless of where the numbers eventually come in, as the only star on an endlessly sinking ship, Gordon will be a scorching hot commodity. It’s well past time the Hornets got sold to a new owner so they can get on with the business of being a real basketball franchise.
The up and down Blazers don’t know whether they are coming or going. Are they a fringe contender or is it time for a rebuild? The team’s front office readily admits that, in lieu of making that determination, they will procrastinate until next summer when contracts will be up for Raymond Felton and Marcus Camby, player options could be exercised by Jamal Crawford and Gerald Wallace, and a decision on the future of Greg Oden will need to be made. A casualty of all of this uncertainty is Batum, the No. 25 pick in 2008, who has seen his playing time cut this year in favor of Wallace this season despite hearing for months how the team considers him an important piece of its future.
A promising two-way player who can shoot the three well and defend multiple positions, a strong argument could be made that the Blazers should have went all out to reach an extension. His price will likely go up in the summer, the Blazers only have two definitive pieces locked in for the future (LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews) and Batum’s price should have been fairly clearly set by comparable players like Trevor Ariza and Marvin Williams. It’s difficult to imagine that Batum, who has expressed his desire repeatedly to stay in Portland, was looking to break the bank. His play in limited minutes this season has been uneven and he's admitted the contract situation has been a distraction. Had there been a fair offer it seems more than reasonable to assume that he would have taken it. Instead, he waits, and watches Wallace play the starter's minutes. That's got to be excruciating and frustrating.
Failing to reach an extension isn’t a crisis for the Blazers, who continue to say they want to retain him long-term, but it extends the uncertainty when a little stability is needed. Portland remains stuck in the mud, spinning its wheels and still without a full-time GM. How much extra money will the "We can always handle this later" mentality cost them come summer time? How many other roster decisions will be impacted? It’s those difficult-to-quantify questions that the Nuggets avoided in inking Gallinari.
Anderson, the No. 21 pick, was far and away this class’s steal. He’s putting up 16.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game now that he’s starting full-time for the Magic and he’s pumping in threes at a 42.2 percent clip. Catching him with an extension just as he is making the upswing would have been an ideal situation, outside any external forces. His is a rising stock. The ground floor was two years ago, when Orlando first acquired him, but the ascent could be quite rapid and expensive from here going forward. Of course, removing external forces is impossible given Orlando’s cap situation and center Dwight Howard’s expressed desire to be traded. The Magic appear to be in “Hold on tight, let’s gun for a championship and see what happens” mode right now, and given how well they’ve played for stretches this season, you can’t really fault them.
From a dollars standpoint, Anderson can’t be too broken up about not getting a deal now. Given his big minutes role on a playoff team, he’s in the situation Batum wishes he could be in: the spotlight. This will end with a massive pay day, one way or another. After getting picked away from the New Jersey Nets via trade, it’s difficult to imagine his future is with anyone but Orlando. The only unknown is how many other moves -- including Howard, most of all -- it takes to make that happen.
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:38 am
Edited on: January 26, 2012 9:40 am
When Eric Gordon reportedly rejected the Hornets' four-year extension offer, it had quite a few consequences. The Hornets will have to convince their best player to re-sign in restricted free agency or match what will be a huge offer from him, based off of what is obviously a complicated relationship with the often-injured but dynamic shooting guard, or else run the risk of him signing the qualifying offer and entering unrestricted free agency in 2013. And it means other teams will be circling like wolves around a wounded deer.
One of those predators is the Indiana Pacers, according to multiple reports.
Both Yahoo Sports and the Indianapolis Star report that the Pacers will make huge runs at Gordon in restricted free agency.
Hard to see how they get him, however. The Pacers, under the new CBA, can only offer Gordon a four-year deal, and for presumably less money than the Hornets offered. If Gordon were to sign the offer sheet, the Hornets would have every ability and inclination to match it. Even a front-loaded contract likely wouldn't make the Hornets blink with the cap room they have at their disposal. It would essentially take GM Dell Demps letting Gordon go due to an unwillingness to play for the Hornets. That decision would also probably seal the fate of the Hornets for the next three-plus seasons, and threaten everyone in the organization's job as ownership, whenever it gets settled, if it gets settled, would look to clean house.
So, no, that's probably not going to happen.
But it doesn't mean the Pacers shouldn't give it a shot. Gordon with that core would be pretty exceptional and it would give him the opportunity to contend for a title in the city he's from originally, where he was born and in the state he went to college. The Pacers won't be the last team to be linked to an interest in Gordon now that he'll enter restricted free agency, but they may be the best.
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:31 am
Posted by Royce Young
The Hornets made a pretty big stink about getting back an ample amount of young talent and assets when they dealt Chris Paul. The prize piece was guard Eric Gordon, a 23-year-old scorer that could be a franchise cornerstone.
Except the Hornets weren't able to lock him up long-term before the deadline passed for Gordon to sign an extension. According to an AP source, Gordon turned down a four-year extension offer from the Hornets, which means he'll be a restricted free agent this summer.
Financial terms of the Hornets' offer wasn't in the report, but clearly, it wasn't good enough for Gordon and his representatives.
According to another report, part of the hurdle Gordon had to jump was getting his extension through the commissioner's office. Gordon had said he wanted to re-sign with the Hornets, but obviously wanted to be well taken care of.
It's a very strange situation because the league and Hornets really pushed hard to get Gordon in return and now face the prospect of losing him in free agency this summer. Which was precisely the reason they dealt Chris Paul. Rather than watch a star walk for nothing, they wanted something to show for him. And because Gordon didn't get extended, he could do the exact same thing.
Without knowing the numbers, it's hard to really say who is more to blame in this situation. The Hornets, a struggling small market franchise, can't afford to part with precious cap flexibility and money over a player that's not quite star level. Gordon is a very good player but definitely not a no-brainer max player like Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook or Kevin Love. He's certainly a great building block piece and potentially has that caliber of talent, but it's yet to be seen. And I'm sure the Hornets' offer reflected that.
Gordon has only appeared in two games this season for the Hornets because of a bruised right knee and coach Monty Williams said Wednesday that Gordon will likely miss three more weeks with the injury.
Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:35 am
Edited on: January 25, 2012 11:43 pm
By EOB Staff
The deadline for rookies from the 2008 draft class to receive extensions is Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.. We'll help keep track of those getting the big payday, and those left out in the cold for restricted free agency, below.
Wednesday 10:40 p.m.
Wednesday 6:34 p.m.